"Make-believe," he repeated. "My friend Brennan whom Gibson spoke to you of says that life is all make-believe; that we all play at make-believe some of us rightfully, but most of us wrongfully." Subconsciously he thought of Brennan's indictment of Gibson as a fraud and a dishonest "make-believe," a consummate actor in the role of a villain in real life.
With a slight formal bow to those present I quitted the room. I found the library deserted, and paced the floor for fully half an hour before Caton appeared. Stung as I had been by Brennan's harsh, uncalled-for words, I yet shrank from the thought that I must now meet him in deadly combat.
Even as I gazed in astonishment at this sudden apparition, a lighter touch rested pleadingly on my arm. "Do not struggle any longer, Captain Wayne," spoke Mrs. Brennan's voice, gently. "I will go to General Sheridan myself, and tell him the entire story." I bowed to her, and held out my hands to be bound.
In the tiny glow of Brennan's cigarette John noticed a hint of a smile on the other's lips as he recited: "So long as 'neath the Kalka hills The Tonga-horn shall ring, So long as down the Solon dip The hard-held ponies swing, So long as Tara Divi sees The lights of Simla town, So long as Pleasure calls us up, And duty drives us down, If you love me as I love you. What pair so happy as we two?"
As their paper published no Sunday edition, John and Brennan realized that if they were successful the exposure of the Gibson-Cummings' plot could not be made until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest, which would be three or four days before the primary election, scheduled for Thursday. At Brennan's order the mayor drove the automobile up and down Spring street, from Second to Eighth and back.
While young Jimmy was polishing off a platter of scrambled eggs the following morning, Paul Brennan arrived. Jimmy's fork stopped in midair at the sound of Brennan's voice in the parlor. "You called him," he said accusingly. Grandmother Holden said, "He's your legal guardian, James." "But I don't can't " "Now, James, your father and mother knew best." "But they didn't know about Paul Brennan.
Whatever we think, whatever we feel, about things must be kept to ourselves. It isn't our opinion that people want to read. It isn't how things look to us, but facts, truth, accuracy, that we must write. Opinions we must leave to the readers to form for themselves and it is unfair to give them untrue impressions for them to form their opinions from." John carried Brennan's words home with him.
He did it to be a hero, for public acclamation, for glory, for power. Others? Why, don't you see that he risked the lives of all those others you say he saved just to make himself a hero?" Brennan's answer, the sarcastic way he gave it, maddened John. "Ah, you make me tired," he said in his aggravation. "What do you want to look at it that way for?
"Bad," said the stranger. "God, what a mess. Know 'em?" "Holdens. Folks that live in the big old house on the hill. My best friend and his wife. I was following them home," lied Brennan glibly. "C'mon let's see if we can find the kid. What about the police?" "Sent my wife. Telephone down the road." Paul Brennan's reply carried no sound of disappointment over being interrupted. "Okay.
"Their doubt seems to have been made even stronger by what he did in preventing the wreck of the 'Lark." Her eyes opened in astonishment. "How?" she asked. "How can they possibly doubt him now?" He explained to her Brennan's view that Gibson's frustration of "Red Mike's" plot was a "grandstand play," without mentioning Brennan. She sat silent for several minutes after he had concluded.